October 16, 2021

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European anti-corruption aid to Ukraine does not help

European anti-corruption aid to Ukraine does not help

EU support for Ukraine to fight corruption is not working. The widespread corruption problem in Ukraine has not diminished in recent years. According to the European Court of Auditors, this is largely because the European Commission has done little to verify whether the aid is having sufficient impact.

Ukraine has received nearly €8 billion in EU funding since 2014. About 66 million of that was intended to tackle corruption in the country. For example, investment was made in independent media and projects were funded to stimulate competition in the Ukrainian economy.

The EU should have checked better

But competition-stimulating projects in particular have not worked, according to the court. Since companies in Ukraine are corrupt monopolies or oligopolies, the EU should have acted more directly to remove barriers to free and fair competition. The agency has not verified whether European money has fallen into corrupt hands, but it cannot rule it out.

In recent years, a lot of money has also gone to Ukraine to create an independent and corruption-free judiciary. However, according to the Court of Auditors, the committee exercised little control over progress. Many judges and prosecutors have not yet undergone integrity checks.

The court wants the EU to look again at helping to fight corruption. UNHCR must also keep a close eye on whether the money and aid is really well spent and whether it is having an impact.

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